Anjani Kumar Agarwal: The Participative Leader

Anjani Kumar Agarwal: The Participative Leader

Anjani Kumar Agarwal,DirectorLeadership is not a state of mind, but a journey which has only the beginning. But despite the chronicle of leadership in many other stratums, educational leadership is a voyage of social adherence where you would entail a consociation around you to thrive towards the common yearning – making education ‘better than yesterday’. DRS Group’s Director, Anjani Kumar Agarwal, belongs to such breed of participative leaders who ceaselessly interact with all the stakeholders of educational system and other industry executives to help spur fundamental changes in the society. “I wanted to pursue my father’s dream of setting up a chain of K-12 schools which are progressive not only in its facilities but also in curriculum,” elucidates Anjani. His father and a prominent business man, DayanandAgarwal (CMD, DRS Group), had a dream that the children of our country savor the special joys of childhood while they learn and grow, and every institute celebrating each child’s uniqueness. Anjani took this dream as his own and the first turning point ensued with the establishment of DRS International School (Kindergarten to Grade XII) in the year 2003.

He asserts, “Then there has been no turning back and later we established MDN Edify Education Pvt. Ltd. which is involved in setting up schools of various budget backgrounds”. Later on under his leadership, the MDN setup many other research-driven models of education including International Kindergartens (IK) in the form of Edify World School (IK I, IK II, IK III& Grades 1 to 12), MDN Future
School (IK I, IK II, IK III & Grades 1 to 12), and Edify School, Edify Kids (IK I, IK II & IK III). “Today, we also operate in a model where in we provide curriculum and training support called Edvisor, in addition to our own publications called MDN Edify Education Publications,” adds Anjani.

Well aware that every classroom consists of students of various learning capabilities and styles, he encouraged his team to come up with resources targeting the same learning outcome but in different ways

Shaping as a Visionary Individual
Even now, the customary concept behind pursuing an IIM degree is to become one of the most qualified students in the country and secure jobs without much effort. But Anjani believes that IIM days shaped him not only in terms of management skills but also as a visionary individual. “IIM was intrinsically helping us identify our latent abilities and showing us the ways to put them into use,” adds Anjani.

Anjani is remarkable in putting philosophy into practice. Inspired from Benjamin Franklin’s aesthetic words, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”, he along with his team brainstormed about leveraging kids’ early interests to build a learning practice. “We often are mistaken that the gadget-allure of kids is a distraction for them. But if we tap the same interest for some meaningful learning, there would be nothing like it,” Anjani adds. Walking-the-talk, he marshaled MDN in bringing in high end technology into the classrooms and manifested a number of successful programs like Digi- Classroom. In addition, MDN also developed programs such as ‘Knowledge Bank’ and ‘Edihub’ to
support facilitators & school leaders to access academic planning documents and school functioning SOPs respectively. Furthermore, MDN also does online trainings through its software - Go to Meeting.

In spite of merely bringing down the technology into classrooms, his mantra was – nurturing one’s abilities from the soul. And he was well aware that every classroom consists of students of various learning capabilities and styles; thus encouraged his team to come up with resources targeting the same learning outcome but in different ways. “The concept is simple. For instance, we use musical instrument as a resource for a musically sound child and body joints as examples for a child interested in science to teach the same concept of machines,” Anjani adjoins. To ensure the maintenance of these standards, MDN also has a separate team in place, which constitutes of specialists from academics, operations and enrolment divisions.

One Big Family
Likewise he kept on climbing the leadership ladder, every thought coupled with innovations, auditing himself with the principles of leadership, and in turn being an antonym for the ‘bosses’. “If we don’t put ourselves in the shoes of our learners, we will not think differently,” he adds. Renowned as a participative leader, Anjani not only gets inspired and takes feedback from his employees, but also distributes leadership among them, makes them challenge themselves, encourages taking risks, and thus nurtures their abilities big-time. Anjani is a strong human who maintains the calm and gathers himself together at pressure situations, and this quality has been an influential factor in his employees. “I think lot of leadership skills instill through from the way you are brought up in your family and the kind of learning opportunity you get. I am fortunate that I got all that. The family has always been by my side at all times,” concludes Anjani. His concept of family is broader, and it includes his office and the people out there.

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